North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


May 2, 2012

Danielle Pelkey: Turn your spring fever into funtime

COMMENTARY — It’s getting close to the end of the school year and there are plenty of kids out there who can hardly wait to get out of the classroom and into the real world.

Let your mind wander back to the days of sitting in a desk. No, not your office desk where you get paid to sit and be bored...   go back to the days of sitting in a crowded classroom listening to a teacher lecture for hours on things that could not be less interesting to you.

Yes, the days of staring at the clock on the wall and trying your best to keep your eyes open for the three hours after lunch break.

No one gets spring fever worse than school kids, and that’s completely understandable. Can you remember being in school and wanting nothing more than to bolt out the door for the afternoon, to play with your friends outside in the sun that was currently making you doze off in your chair? It is almost torturous to expect kids to pay attention in class when the weather is warm, and the creek is calling their names.

But alas, here we are in the month of May, the weather is beautiful and yet our kids are in school all day long. So what can we, as adults, do to help our kids get over the spring fever hump?

Well, the possibilities are endless. Most parents pick up their kids from school or day care while it is still daylight out during the spring months. So why don’t we give them something to do?

Take an afternoon trip to the park with your younger children. They will enjoy the time with mommy and daddy, and it probably wouldn’t kill you to get out in the natural sunlight for a few hours. If your children are a bit older you can always take them to a skate park, or take the family pet to a dog park for some much needed playtime for everyone in the family.

I can remember when I was younger, my grandparents kept us until my parents got off of work. When the leaves would start to change, whether fall or spring, we would always take one special day and ride up to some wooded terrain for a look at nature. We would pack our favorite snacks and drinks, and stop on the side of the road to have a snack and play with the nature that was just hanging out all around us.

The point that I’m trying to make is that  we do a great injustice to our kids when we come home tired, neglecting to just have fun with them. In this scenario, I am the chief of sinners. Just last night I rushed through the doors, started supper and had no time to just sit and play with my girls. They played with each other of course, but there was mommy time in there. Supper had to be prepared, clothes needed to be washed and the last thing on my mind was kicking up some dirt in the front yard.

After the food was eaten, the dishes were done and the girls were resting in bed, I was finally ready for some relaxing time with my girls, but it was too late by then. They were sacked out from a long day of school and day care, and I was mentally exhausted from work.

On days like that, we all lose. I miss out on my girl time with my babies, and they miss out on having mommy’s attention. Don’t let these days happen too often, or it will become your lifestyle.

Make the change in the weather the perfect excuse for you to make a change in the order of afternoon events. Venture out past the front porch with those school-aged kids. Leave work a little early to toss a ball with your son. Load up the swim suites and hit up the splash pad for a couple of hours before heading home.

Go out of your way to make new and exciting memories with your children. They won’t forget it when you take that kind of time for them.

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